THOMPSON: Common Sense and research
What will it mean if Arne Duncan brings John Easton, the former director of the Chicago Schools Consortium with him to Washington? In order to address that question, I reviewed the Consortium’s excellent research and found this nugget.
Among Chicago high schools scoring in the bottom quartile, only 17% of students reported that they have been suspended more than one or two times. Among high schools in the top quartile, 26% of students report they have been in trouble three or four times and suspended once or twice. Another 13% report that they have been suspended more than three times.
Its always great to find academic research that confirms the practical wisdom of teachers. To raise academic standards, we must raise behavioral standards. To overly depend suspensions would be as foolhardy as overemphasizing test prep. But suspensions are an invaluable tool. - John Thompson
Robert Pondiscio at the Core Knowledge Blog adds a response to the post and the comment. I fail to see why those two things are mutually exclusive. We should create rich, rewarding student experiences and warm, nurturing school environments. And protect those environments zealously with no-nonsense discipline procedures. Isn't this one of the lessons of KIPP and other successful "no excuses" schools?